tv NOW With Alex Wagner MSNBC September 10, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are gynecologic cancers. symptoms are not the same for everyone. i got sick...and then i got better. . there are 57 days to go until election day, but the first ballots are already being cast. meaning the clock is running and from here on in, there are no more time-outs. it's monday, september 10th, and this is "now." joining me today, msnbc contributor jimmy williams, msnbc political analyst joan walsh, of salon.com, author of
"what's the matter with white people," why we long for a golden age that never was, msnbc political analyst jonathan alter and ryan grim, making his debut the washington bureau chief for "the huffington post." president obama has emerged from the conventions with a slight edge. a gallup poll shows president obama with a five point need nationally up on governor romney. that is not the real story. no matter how tight the popular vote remains it's the lec it torl college and ten swing states that will decide this election. right now the power ten are ohio, florida, north carolina, virginia, new hampshire, colorado, nevada, iowa, wisconsin, and michigan. memorize those states. they make up a whopping 126 electoral votes. given this, it's perhaps totally not that surprising at all that president obama has been campaigning in new hampshire,
iowa and florida since friday. in the same period, governor romney has hit iowa, new hampshire, virginia and travels to ohio today. as a backgrounder, in 2008, president obama won all of these states in contention. this year, polling in key tossup states is making the romney campaign very, very nervous, especially in ohio. leading up to the conventions, president obama held a six-point lead in the state. but the romney campaign tells politico their internal polling since then has shown as much as a nine-point gap in the buckeye state. this comes as voters in many key swing states are already heading to the polls or will be shortly. early voelgts in north carolina began by mail-in ballot last thursday. late next week early voting begins in wisconsin, michigan, new hampshire and virginia. ballot boxes open in iowa the week after and ohio on october 2nd. these votes could prove critical. in 2008, 30% of all votes were cast early, which is up from 20% in 2004.
in colorado nearly four out of every five votes were cast early. with the clock ticking the romney campaign must focus where it counts the most, a top romney official tells politico, quote, our problems are virginia, ohio, nevada, new hampshire, and our opportunities are michigan, wisconsin, colorado. we can't trade our problems for our opportunities and win the presidency. if we trade our problems for opportunities, we lose. joining us now from washington, is peter hart, a pollster for nbc news and "the wall street journal" who also runs hart research. peter, always great to see you. >> thanks, alex. >> so let's really talk about the campaign math here. first of all i don't think most folks are aware of how critical key voting is and the fact that the game is afoot right now? >> it certainly is. but what fascinates me and i think what came out of the democratic convention is tremendous enthusiasm. that's the thing i've been most
concerned about. not only what states and how close they are, who goes to the ballot box, and to me, hispanic voters and younger voters are the absolute key and i think for the democrats, they got a big boost out of the convention there. it's still a long way to go. if the enthusiasm isn't there for the democrats, they're just not going to be able to sustain this lead. >> peter, i do want to ask you, jonathan had an interesting analysis in "new york" magazine talking about the optimism on the part of team obama and maybe the polling was overestimating the number of white voters working-class voters that thus far have been swinging towards romney. overestimating their numbers and that, in fact, this race even in the popular vote could be less tight than we think it is if, as you said, hispanics and young voters turn out in force. >> you're absolutely right. it's a good point, because in our polling that we do for nbc and "the wall street journal" we have about 25% of the voters who
are noncaucasian and looks to me as though that number could even rise by a couple of more points and if that happens, it puts tremendous pressure on the romney forces to get over 60% with the white voters. and that's a real challenge, especially since they aren't cutting in with the hispanic voters so far. >> not at all cutting in with hispanic voters. want to open this up to our panel here. jonathan, we've talked about how this is a dead heat, stagnant, et cetera. but now that we're beginning to look at the electoral college and how that may go, it could be a much wyatt wider -- the president could be in much better position than actually discussed heretofor? >> he could be, especially if the lead he has coming out of his convention holds for another couple weeks. there are these rules that are made to be broken in politics but one is that the candidate that's leading at the end of september, in the last 15 presidential elections has gone on to win the election and it
could be that these 7% undecided voters, if there are that many undecided, and that's a subject of debate, that they often tend to break for the leader because americans like to be with a winner. so if he gets more than 50 people of that 7% undecided vote, he'll have a pretty substantial victory. >> ryan, i want to focus a little bit on the states themselves. we know that pennsylvania has basically been take ounce of convention. the president has got that one. ohio will be a battle ground state, carries 18 electoral votes. the issue happening on the state level, you're seeing unemployment rates that are below the national average or that have fallen significantly. so romney's in this ultraweird position of having to be a doom sayer on pretty good economic news. >> right. ohio is it for obama and ohio is it for romney. and it was always going to be an uphill climb for romney. it's not going to be easy for a cooperate raider to win ohio. the problems for ohio over the last 30 years have the very
things that mitt romney has been profiting from, decline of manufacturing, outsourcing, offshoring. he already had a tough case to make. then he said let detroit go bankrupt and let the auto industry collapse and that has pretty much done them in ohio. the reason that pennsylvania and michigan are off the table is similar. you can't win that working class vote while saying hey, the industry that you work in should be gone. >> well -- >> just be careful about saying off the table. you know, or did him in ohio, because these things do have a way of changing sometimes and ohio has been a pretty conservative state for a long time and some of the demographic groups that obama does well with are not very present -- >> and the voter i.d. issue is very much alive in ohio and whether or not they're going to be enough, you know, polling booths, whether or not there will be enough absentee ballots or early ballot goss out. in a straight level playing field in ohio this is obama's to
lose. >> well, look, the president has a great message to take to each one of these states. in ohio maybe manufacturing jobs, in florida it's medicare. this is something team obama said we relish the fight, the debate over medicare, the president talked about it a lot this weekend. let's hear what he had to say, specifically in west palm beach this weekend. >> they want to give the money back to the insurance companies, put them in charge of medicare. there was one report that just said that by the end of the next decade, under their plan, you would see as much as 16 to $26 billion in new profits for insurance companies. paid for by taxpayers. why would we do that? >> this is the data dump. i mean i've used the term wall of ob viewization. i think a lot of people have. a lot of things pertaining to the romney/ryan ticket, but on the numbers game, the president has an aggressive claim to make as far as what the paul ryan plan does in terms of medicare
and in terms of coverage and in terms of the middle class bearing more of the costs. >> going back to the convention when president clinton laid out that case for democrats create jobs, it was a very wonky case, lots of numbers, and then jennifer granholm gave that speech, which i saw pundits mock, but on the floor people went nuts. what she did was call out the roll call of the tens of thousands of auto and auto related jobs saved by the president and there was such enthusiasm for that and all of the state she is was calling out just happened to be these swing states. so, he's really got a lot of advantages coming out of the convention and it is with the focus on numbers for a change. the ryan/romney plan, all their plans, they refuse to fill in the blanks and they're stuck. >> they hate numbers. their aallergic to numbers and numbers will be thrown at them for the next two months, especially as voters are voting now, which i think is the casesiest part of this. in wisconsin, wisconsin is an
interesting state in so far as this was sort of in the democratic ledger with the addition of paul ryan on the ticket, the republicans now think they can put it in play. unemployment rate is 7.3% but you have scott walker, the movement there, seems like it's le leaning more conservative. >> picking ryan means you have to spend money in wisconsin, picking portman, you have to spend money in ohio. at the end of the day the president is going to have to spend money in any of the swing states that matter. did we think wisconsin was going to be as close as it is? last week's real clear politics running average is the president up by 1.4, something like that. that's virtually -- that doesn't matter. it means it's dead even. does ryan help him there? certainly. they are going to have to spend money in a state they hadn't before. it's a debit column for the obama campaign when it comes to spending in wisconsin, credit column in ohio and that is a good thing when there's a reason
why, because ohio has more votes, more electoral votes. i talked to the obama campaign this weekend and they said if we win every state that kerry won plus nevada and iowa we win. think about that. that doesn't mean florida, that doesn't mean north carolina. that's astonishing, astonishing fact and i thought about that and i went back and did the math, the electoral college changed a little bit and wow, and so wisconsin and all these other states come into play. this comes down i think to ohio and virginia where it matters the most. >> peter hart, where is your bull's eye trained in terms of the states that need to be paid to attention most within the sort power ten swing state list? >> i agree with jimmy. looking to virginia closely, looking at ohio, ohio is always the answer, because it gives us sort of the heartland of america, it gives us both the northern element that comes from cleveland, toledo, akron, those areas, and then the southern influence which is much more
down towards west virginia border ougt to cincinnati. those are the states i look at. but i bring it back around to human beings. and i think in wisconsin, of this one person i had in a focus group who was laid off from harley-davidson and she's going through the hammers of hell trying to figure out how she's going to vote and at this stage of the game she likes obama personally, she worries about the economy. and as she goes, so go so many voters. and i think out at the democratic convention, i can see her listening to bill clinton and i can see her listening to barack obama and suddenly swinging that way. those are the people i'm trying to listen to. >> thank you, as always, to pollster peter hart who reminds us, of course, of the human being element in all of this. great to see you as always. >> thank you. >> coming up it is the economy stupid, or is it?
the romney campaign puts god on it side with an attack on the obama platform. including this one about mormon's and her husband's nomination. >> it's always wonderful when milestones like that are accomplished and i think that was why we were all so pleased with so many americans, we're so pleased with the last election and seeing that a black man was eleblgtsed as president of the united states. it made us proud as americans to know those prejudices we've had in the past are falling away. >> we will discuss faith versus the economy next on "now." ♪ ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1
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the name of our platform. i will not take god off our coins and i will not take god out of my heart. >> that was mitt romney in virginia beach on saturday, jumping off a story from last week that the word god didn't appear in the original democratic platform. at the directive of president obama the platform was amended to include it during the convention. obama campaign spokeswoman jen p psaki responded saying -- at the virginia rally, romney appeared on stage with tell evangelist pat robertson the man that once said the earthquake in haiti happened because the haitians made a, quote, pact with the devil and the man that wrote in 1992 that the feminist agenda encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians. on friday, in iowa, romney gave a hearty endorsement to congressman steve king who has
defended todd akin abortion remarks compared illegal immigrants to livestock in discussing an electrified border fence and said in 2008 al qaeda would be quote dancing in the middle of the streets from barack obama was elected. kevin madden told buzz feed their strategy has not changed. quote, we will absolutely be focused on the economy as a top issue for the duration of the campaign. it is unclear which part of the campaign has to do with the president's faith and taking god off coins but talking about the economy as we traditionally understand it requires you to talk about your economic plan. >> so everything i want to do with regards to taxation, follow simple principles bring our rates down to encourage growth, keep revenue up limits deduct n deductions and exemptions and don't put any bigger burden on middle income people, i want to lower the burds on middle income peopler. >> where are the specifics of how you get to this math? isn't that an issue. >> the specifics are these, which is those principles i
described are the heart of my policy. >> give me an example of a loophole you will close? >> i can tell you that people at the high end, high income taxpayers will have fewer deductions and exemptions. >> number cruncher congressman paul ryan was equally unable to list a single loop hole the romney/ryan tax plan would close. >> it's difficult to accept your word if you're not going to specify which tax loop hoholes you're willing to close. don't voters have a right to know which loop holes you're going to go after? >> mitt romney and i based on our experience think the best way to do this is show the framework, outlines of the plan and work with congress to do this. that's how you get things done. the other thing -- >> isn't that a secret plan? >> no. no. what we don't want is a secret plan. >> why not say right now -- >> because we want to do this -- george we want to have this debate in the public, this debate with congress. >> ryan, where is the beef? i mean where is the beef? how long can they keep doing
this? there are two months. how long can they be asked for specifics on loopholes, on, you know, the budget plan, and get away with basically recycling the same talking points over and over? >> they think they can do it for two months. you know, a couple months ago nobody thought that romney could keep his tax returns secret all the way through the auelection. he'll take this beating for a week or so and release them. he hasn't. this is a long list of things that either ryan, mitt or ann romney don't want to talk about. ann refused to talk about birth control, gay marriage. romney has said that inequality should be talked about in quiet rooms. he said israeli settlements should be talked about in private. and now what they're going to actually cut -- >> the tax loopholes go to the public on that. >> after the election. >> crowd source your tax loophole discussion. >> we won't talk about it until after we're elected. i thought paul ryan was so remarkable in that clip. a moment where he takes a sigh and then gulps like a child.
i was saying to jonathan, i honestly thought -- he reminded me of sarah palin in that clip and i know he's supposed to be smarter than she is but because he can't tell the truth he doesn't look smart. he looks like somebody's who's fumbling and trying to think of a talking point to keep from giving george stef nop his a specific example he's looking for. >> the problem with this is you mentioned the tax returns. it all becomes a repeat in the public's mind when they're not paying very close attention but they get the sense that romney and ryan are hiding something. that is very harmful in a presidential campaign, no matter what it is you're hiding. they don't get all down in the weeds on the tax specifics or medicare plans or, you know, what romney's returns might hold, all they get a sense of is secret plan, we don't like secrecy. >> wall of ob few skags, a tricky to thing to say on camera. >> i did it sort of.
>> what do you make of the god talk? i want to play the clip that ryan mentioned about ann romney talking about same-sex marriage. let's listen to that and then talk about it. >> few in iowa think same-sex marriage is legal. do you believe a lesbian mother should be allowed to marry her partner? >> you know, i'm not going to talk about the specific issues. i'm going to let my husband speak on issues. i'm here to really just talk about my husband and what kind of a husband and father he is. and those -- those are hot button issues that distract from what the real voting issue is going to be at this election, that is going to be about the economy and jobs. >> on one hand romney is saying to the evangelical base and then his wife says we don't want to talk about those issues, but want to talk about the economy and when asked about the specifics on the tax plan they don't want to talk about those either. >> i hate to break the news to mrs. romney, but as a gay american i am a real american and vote and i'm not the only
gay american in america and so since that's the case -- >> would be quite a claim to fame if you were. >> smithsonian or something. here's the bottom line they don't like to talk about these kinds of issues. reminds me of that scene, i may be dating myself "saint elmo's fire" around the dining room table and the woman goes have you seen so-and-so she's got cancer. so and so is gay. they whisper it. you don't talk around it at the dinner table. that's how they fungion. it's okay to be gay, stay in the closet. okay to have an abortion pre1974 we won't talk about it. >> the question is, why go out there with steve king and pat robertson and talk about god and sort of bring up the question of the president's faith, when you're not prepared to wade into those -- >> because they're talking to a segment of their base hearing them loud and clear. ann romney is not talking to that segment and supposed to be
humanizing mitt and making mitt a kinder, gentler person for the independent swing voters and the moms and the women. so she's really in a bind. she does not want to go all double down on social issues. she gave money to planned parenthood, people. >> it is interesting when romney was talking about his faith on "meet the press," asked about mormonism, we played a little bit of that clip going into the break, but mitt romney refused to say the word mormon. he kept saying judeo christian roots. as much as the convention was almost a coming out party for him as a mormon, he seems to still not be comfortable wearing that mantle. >> he should embrace it. >> he should. >> he should embrace his religion and be done with it. >> we will be talking more about mitt romney as we always up. money ball and the horse race, a book argues there's an analytical argument in politics and campaign reporters, you campaign reporters are missing it entirely. author sash sa issenberg takes us inside the victory lap ahead on "now." we're sitting on a bunch of shale gas.
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it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward. coming up -- congressman paul ryan has been a supporter of the automatic military and domestic cuts known as se questions stration for most of his career in the house as he made clear this interview last year. >> what conservatives like me have been fighting for for years are statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law, that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money and if they breach that amount across the board sequester comes in to cut that spending and you can't turn that off without a super majority vote. >> but now it appears that, surprise, paul ryan is changing his position on the cuts. could that be because his boss, governor mitt romney, is against them? we will get all sequestered with luke russert ahead.
here in virginia, we're not better off under president obama. his defense cuts were weak in national security and threaten over 130,000 jobs. here in ohio, we're not better off under president obama. his defense cuts will weaken national security and threaten over 20,000 ohio jobs. >> those were recent ads released by the romney campaign, attempting to appeal to voters in the swing states of virginia and ohio. the ads may seem target but they are old school compared with the data minding tactics campaigns are using to sway the handful of undecided voters who will determine the election. over the last 12 years a quiet revolution has been taking place in politics and involves a type of political science enabling strategists to figure out how a person will vote before election day. in an article on the romney campaign, sasha issenberg
writes, quote -- joining the panel now is sasha issenberg, a columnist slate and author of the book "the victory lab, the secret science of winning campaigns" which goes on sale tomorrow and will continue to boost sales -- we'll continue to juice book sales throughout the segment, sasha. >> thank you. >> i was saying to you before this camera turned on and gave us a live feed, that this is sort of political journalists are reading this book, read your series of articles, that i think are in many ways that lead up to the book and sort of hitting themselves, slapping themselves in the face for not being better about covering this election, which is to say, as we said in the lead, a quiet revolution going on in terms of how -- in terms of campaign tactics and thus far the political
journalists have not been able to cover it, focused on targeted ad buys. >> we've been missing the story about a decade now. we pay a lot of attention ads, pay a lot of attention to rallies, to the content of the speeches and talk to the same group of people inside campaigns, the pollster, romney campaign put out a memo from its pollster today and people followed that. a rank of geeks inside campaigns now that are measuring things that are not part of our conversation normally and testing things impeerically through experiments and have access to data that's not part of the normal who's up, who's down horse race polling we look at as journalists. so my book is, you know, i think a story of how that revolution took place and looking at how it's utterly transformed, what campaigns are thinking about. the conversation is taking place today in chicago or boston in a war room does not sound all that much like the conversation taking place among us in the sflees but, you know, this seems like sort of a natural progression, right. in terms of targeting consumer behaviors, this is something that's been happening on
facebook, on any number of levels in terms of the american marketplace. it's only natural that it would sort of filter into the political realm. tell us specifically how -- you know, is it, you know, how is each campaign using the data, which is to say, is it folk -- we mentioned earlier, folks going to the rallies, buying habits, spending habits, demographic profiles, give us insight into terms of the data being used. >> this what is people call generically micro targeting, statistical modelling item to predict behave at the video level and sort of useful analogy to credit scores. these are basically credit scores for politics. so in the same way that financial institution will take hundreds if not thousands of variables about your dem graph ibs, past buying habits, how you interacted with those companies and predict your likelihood of defaulting or paying off your bill or spending $2,000 a month on your credit card, campaigns are predicting whether you're going to cast a ballot in
november, who you'll vote for and what issues you'll care about. there's a likely percentagehood attached to your name. they're not thinking about large democratic classes they're thinking about individuals. >> thinking about one dude in ohio and had a hamburger for lunch does that mean he's going for romney/ryan. your piece in "the new york times" last week or a couple weeks ago, i thought was interesting. the obama campaign wasn't mary merely with those concerned who had moved because of the chicago pick. chicago was tracking those who may have become susceptible to future movement. once the campaign had identified those voters could start communicating with them through individually targeted contact like mail, phone calls or niche media which elude the attention of the national political press. >> right. niche media is something that has been completely ignored by the national media. if you talk to the people in the media department in chicago, or boston, they're very focused on regional and local media and new
media, on-line media. where counties become important and they've always been an important, you know, component of the campaigns is that this isn't being done for all voters in the united states. this micro targeting, it's not even being done for all voters in battleground states, it's being done with a special -- with special intensity on voters in particular counties, say, you know, roanoke, virginia. >> right. >> that's not a county. that's a city. but you get the point. you know, particular places where this election will be determined. so they can almost beam in on critical zip codes and then figure out how to tailor the messages so that they work well with them. and also, it's not just persuasion. it's also mobilization. so it's not just trying to get people to vote for your man. it's taking the people who are already in your database.
>> and getting them out there. >> getting them to give you even $3, which makes them part of the campaign and makes them more likely to volunteer, or if they come in as volunteers you can extract money out of them. but you have to identify who those people are. obama had 13 million in 2008 in their data base, 13 million names. >> a formidable data base. >> that's an on-line list. they have 200 million adults in their data base, you know -- >> right. supporters. >> two points i want to make before we go. one is, i think in terms of the national media, it's hard to tell the story of micro targeting, right? it's much easier to tell the story of ads and ad buys and messaging and the grand themes of the campaign. it's hard to talk about a guy in broward county who, you know, ate tuna fish salad sandwich -- i keep going back to lunch sandwiches. but the terms of sophistication, micro targeting, dems versus
republicans, obama versus romney, is there a discrepancy or do you feel like both campaigns have pursued micro targets with the same amount of gusto? >> there's a structural advantage on the left right now. it hasn't always been the case. 2004 was a sort of major period of innovation for bush's re-election campaign. one of the -- from a sort of innovation perspective in politics the powers of incumbency can not be in any way understated. one of the problems of campaigns they don't invest in research because for six months they go away. continuity in chicago. basically still trying to solve problems they posed five years ago. the immediate wake of the election in november 2008, they had postmortems, laid out what we did well, didn't do well, what we want to do and lay out a huge research agenda and for four years since then had control of the national dollar, over a billion dollar, tons of small races to try things out and so they're able to behave a lot more like a corporation and have basically a research and
development function than your normal campaign which is like a pop-up shop that cares about like -- >> and in their -- >> market share on one day. >> their leader and ceo, if you will, they have someone who's really into sort of grass roots -- i mean who fundamentally i think there's a kinship between obama and that kind of data driven approach and getting those metrics, in that way it's a natural fit almost. >> and there's sort of a connection there. one is in 2008, the campaign saw itself as going up against the democratic consulting establishment and that sort of felt -- gave them the sense to free themselves from traditional practices and free themselves of new things part of a way as rebelling of the tourney of a wiseman. >> this is a fresh book that sasha did. >> i mean that in the street sense and quite literal sense. a fresh book that comes out tomorrow. thank you to sasha issenberg, his book about the new science of winning elections, "the victory lab" is out tomorrow. also read sash sa's "new york times" article about why
campaign reporters are kicking themselves in the shins. check out our facebook page, facebook.com/now with alex. coming up biden and the bikers. the vice president cozies to cruisers during a ohio campaign stop. the many things about this photo ahead on "now." if we want to improve our schools... ...what should we invest in? maybe new buildings?
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uhh, it's next month, actually... eddie continues singing: to tickets to... paradiiiiiise! no four. remember? whoooa whooaa whooo! you know ronny, folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. and how happy are they jimmy? happier than eddie money running a travel agency. get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. congress is back in session today, but that does not mean anyone is actually going to work. faced with looming and potentially catastrophic spending cuts set to take place at the beginning of next year congress is expected to not engage in high stakes negotiations but punt on them entirely. the cuts nope as a sequester are scheduled to cut $1 trillion in spending over the next ten years half of which will come from the defense department. on "meet the press" on sunday, governor romney criticized the cuts despite the fact that his own running mate supported them last year.
>> the sequestration idea of the white house which is cutting our defense, i think is an extraordinary miscalculation. >> one of the leaders that agreed to that deal -- >> i thought it was a mistake on the part of the white house to propose it, i think it was a mistake forp republicans to go along with it. >> congressman paul ryan is channeling his inner mitt romney and parsing his position saying he supported the plan to make the cuts but not the actual cuts themselves. >> i voted for a mechanism that says the sequester will occur if we don't cut $1.2 trillion of spending in government. we offered $1.2 trillion in various -- the super committee offered it. we passed in the house a bill to prevent those devastating defense cuts by cutting spending elsewhere, the senate has done nothing, president obama has done nothing. >> as a reminder in an op-ed last year, ryan had nothing but support for the budget control act which cut the defense department and set up triggers for even more cuts if both sides couldn't reach a deal. ryan wrote, quote --
joining us now from washington, is the sage of capitol hill and my celebrity topple ganger, nbc's luke russert. >> so happy to be here. how are you? >> so happy to see you, my friend. >> i have to ask, is any work going to get done on sequestration or is this thing going to get punted until january of 2013? >> there's about a good a chance as work happening on sequestration on capitol hill this week or before january 1st as the buffalo bills have of winning the super bowl, alex. >> which i'm guessing is very small, luke, very small. >> very, very small. there's two likely courses of action. mainly the fact that they will
punt and you heard lamar alexander said they have he had a six month deal, put it into spring of new year, new president, president romney or president obama, deal with a new congress. the other option letting the cuts go forward and something both sides say cannot happen. alex, it's fascinating hearing this debate. one thing republicans have done, they started doing this six weeks ago, try to say the budget control act was the president's idea, they were dragged into this deal in order to avert an economic collapse, that they never wanted to have these types of cuts looming on the horizon, they had a sensible plan. if you remember when that deal was signed, the outrage was from democrats saying the president gave too much. john boehner went on tv and said, he got 98% of what he had wanted. so now we have a september 2012 message from republicans saying they were dragged along kicking and screaming not what they were about and you're seeing this really interesting debate unfold
here as to where democrats are sort of saying, wait, wait, wait, point you said you got 98% of what you wanted now this is a complete opposite of everything that you fought for, what gives? and it's fascinating how it's being framed by the romney campaign and leaders here on capitol hill. >> it is i think officially called rewriting history when you do that. this weekend when -- actually thought it was surprised that mitt romney said on "meet the press," i don't think republicans should have done that. at least owning the fact that they voted for this thing. in terms of political optics is this a risk that republicans succeed in painting this as a democratic sequestration. >> there's been this strange flurry of reporting the last few days based on bob woodward's new book there are revelations that could be damaging for democrats because some reporting indicates the ysds came from the white house official for this. the idea you would need some type of insider account to explain to you what happened in broad daylight, is just a bizarre one. everybody went out to the mikes, they said we've cut this deal,
here's how it's going to be, here's how it's going to work. republicans passed it, democrats passed it. obama signed it. we at t"the huffington post" complained about it. it happened in public. now we're coming -- it's just totally confusing. >> tell all of something that -- >> yeah. >> you know about this, the dysfunction in congress. >> sadly yes. >> the real part about this, though, is, the defense industry is face something very significant cuts. >> yes. >> i think it is lock heed martin may issue notices to 123,000 employees. these are jobs that will be cut and they have to give employees a 60-day notice which is a few days before election day. the republicans department do not want to get the defense industry on their bad side. you would think that would lead to impetus in terms of solving this problem. >> nor do democrats frankly, with defense contractors and plant this is their states. but let's be clear about this.
budgets are -- chris mathews the other day said, the capital of japan is tokyo. we know that. it's a fact. it's not a [ inaudible ] it's tokyo. what we know is paul ryan voted for it but now decries it. mitt romney has told him to. i suppose he's going to do this now. that's a problem for him. the reason is, because he's -- he's quickly gaining on the flip floppery of mitt romney. he's quickly going to give his own presidential nominee a run for his money. that is a problem for him. it's a problem because you can't say i was for something one year and one month ago, because there's a vote in the congressional record on it, and now say you're not for it when you were before. john kerry, mitt romney, paul ryan, there's a linage here. it's a narrative. you can't say something and then vote the other way. we're not that stupid. >> luke, last question to you, my friend. we know that senator mccain just a few moments ago was circulating protesting basically that the cuts to the defense
industry that would take place. how are democrats responding to this? the impending cuts and the impending job losses if sequestration goes into effect? >> there's a worry about those pink slips that could be thrown out there by the defense contracting firms 60 days before anything like this would happen which would put it friday before. talk at the white house that will not occur. democrats are trying to make the case alex, that this was a bipartisan deal that was agreed to, that is something that they never wanted to do, republicans had some sensible revenue increases then this never would have happened. lastly, one thing we're not talking about here, the super committee was supposed to succeed. no one likes to talk about that anymore, the same issues that divide the president and congress right now, divided the super committee, the holy super committee supposed to solve all our issues dysfunction, dysfunction, dysfunction. >> the same old song, my friend. we know you can't wear white pants after labor day, but can
you wear boat shoes, luke. >> boat shoes are timeless 365. very good in the water if it's raining outside in the fall on a rainy fall day. got to have that rubber. >> if there's dysfunction in congress, luke russert is wearing boat shoes. thank you, my friend, as always. >> god speed. >> after the break, we will talk about that compelling photo of vice president biden with the bikers next in what now. at purina one,
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welcome back. time for what now. vice president joe biden did a little up close ander. al campaigning at a stop in southern ohio on sunday. this photo was taken by the ap after the press pool had been escorted out of the room. joan, he may have won one swing voter but think he lost two judging by the expresses there. >> the two men don't look like they're going to be voting
obama/biden any time soon and hope the secret service was nearby because the vice president looked like he was in danger. >> he'll go -- joe biden will stop at nothing for some votes. >> he should. if he can get her and a whole bunch of other women agencies 350 to 50, he will be the next vice president of the united states. >> i was just going to say, joe the biker, picture, and the joe the pizzeria owner lift of president obama, these help with the obama/biden ticket's worst demographic, killed with white men. if they can erode romney's lead a little bit among white men and a picture is better than a thousand words. >> yes. >> you know, they can win this election. >> i just like anything that begins with joe biden in a biker bar. that's good enough for me. thank you again to jimmy, joan, jonathan and ryan. that is all for now. i'll see you back here tomorrow at noon eastern, 9:00 a.m. pacific when swroinds by frank bruni, steve, jonathan capehart
and tony danza. tony danza. "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. alright, you ready kevin? and... flip! whoa! did you get that? yep, look at this. it takes like 20 pictures at a time. i never miss anything. isn't that awesome? uh that's really cool. you should upload these. i know, right? that is really amazing. pictures are so clear. kevin's a handsome devil. that phone does everything! search dog tricks. okay, see if we can teach him something cool. look at how lazy kevin is.
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